Pitfalls of a Handshake Agreement vs a Shopping Agreement for a Writer?



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  • Pitfalls of a Handshake Agreement vs a Shopping Agreement for a Writer?

    Hi everyone! A producer wants to shop around a pitch I wrote. He wants to do this as a handshake agreement. One lawyer I talked to said that I should do a Shopping Agreement with the producer because it protects both the writer and producer. Another lawyer I talked to said a handshake agreement is better for the writer, because a Shopping Agreement mainly protects the producer only. So I'm not sure if I should request the producer sign a Shopping Agreement, or if I should just proceed with the producer without anything in writing. I appreciate any advice you may have on which one is better for the writer. Thanks!
    Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 04-22-2021, 03:28 PM. Reason: Added tags

  • #2
    A producer wants to take a treatment you wrote and pitch your idea around town? I didn't have any agreements with managers or producers when they took my full spec out. Do you trust them? Do they have a track record? Did they work with you on anything? How did you get to this point? They don't want to write a spec?


    • #3
      Producers aren't buyers. I've never signed a deal with a producer before we've gone out with a pitch.


      • #4
        I was going to type up a few thoughts, but I figured it'd be easier for now to link to a couple of the various articles out there on this topic, in case it might help to read them:


        Done Deal Pro


        • #5
          Thank you! This is all very helpful.


          • #6
            Related - I got cash attached to a shopping agreement for a short story last week. My lawyer said he has never seen a shopping agreement with cash attached. I don't see any downside to this as opposed to an option, as it prevents two months of back-and-forth on language. (and tbh, I prefer not to have purchase prices baked in, especially at the moment)

            Anyone ever got money for a shopping agreement before?